Alien Asteroid Belt Compared to our Own
This artist's concept illustrates what the night sky might look like from a hypothetical alien planet in a star system with an asteroid belt 25 times as massive as the one in our own solar system (alien system above, ours below). NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope found evidence for such a belt around the nearby star called HD 69830, when its infrared eyes spotted dust, presumably from asteroids banging together. The telescope did not find any evidence for a planet in the system, but astronomers speculate one or more may be present. In our solar system, anybody observing the skies on a moonless night far from city lights can see the sunlight that is scattered by dust in our asteroid belt. Called zodiacal light and sometimes the "false dawn," this light appears as a dim band stretching up from the horizon when the Sun is about to rise or set. The light is faint enough that the disk of our Milky Way galaxy remains the most prominent feature in the sky. (The Milky Way disk is shown perpendicular to the zodiacal light in both pictures.) In contrast, the zodiacal light in the HD 69830 system would be 1,000 times brighter than our own, outshining even the Milky Way.
Mediatype imageCreator NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. Hurt (SSC)Date 0000Relation NASA's Spitzer Telescope Sees Signs of Alien Asteroid Belt [ http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu/Media/releases/ssc2005-10/release.shtml ]; JPL-Produced Interview with Dr. Charles Beichman [ http://cc.jpl.nasa.gov/spitzer/050420-beichman.qtl ] Spitzer Space Telescope Home Page [ http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu ] JPL Homepage [ http://www.jpl.nasa.gov ] NASA Homepage [ http://www.nasa.gov ]Relation An Excess Due to Small Grains Around The Nearby K0V Star HD69830: Asteroid or Comet Debris? [ http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu/Media/releases/ssc2005-10/papers/beichman.pdf ]Insightuid nasaNAS~12~12~64301~168774Source http://sscws1.ipac.caltech.edu/Imagegallery/image.php?image_name=ssc2005-10bWhat Spitzer Space TelescopeWhat DawnWhat SunWhere Milky Way GalaxyIdentifier SPITZ-ssc2005-10bAddeddate 2009-10-06 03:53:11Publicdate 2009-10-06 06:16:40Backup_location ia903604_1